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Who is Jesus?

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By Matthew Black, Pastor

Text: Matthew 16:13-17

Date: Sunday, September 06, 2009, 6pm

Series: Serve the Lord Sunday

Tabernacle Baptist Church

7020 Barrington Road

Hanover Park, Illinois 60133

Website: www.GodCentered.info

Introduction: Open your Bible to the book of Matthew 16:13-17.  Tonight I want to explore the question “Who is Jesus, and What Did Jesus Do?”  Who is Jesus Christ of Nazareth?  Some say He is just a good teacher. 

Matthew 16:13-17 brings us to the question answered by Jesus Himself.  Let us read our passage tonight, “When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am? 14  And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets. 15  He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? 16  And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. 17  And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven”. 

Some say Jesus is a good man, an exemplary person.  Others say he is a teacher come from God and a prophet.  But Jesus Christ of Nazareth is more than that.  I want to show you that Jesus Christ is God born as a human being. What you believe about Jesus will decide your eternity.

[Prayer for Guidance]

The Bible says that Jesus Christ is a king.   He's called:

  • The King of righteousness (Hebrews 7:2)
  • The King of peace (Hebrews 7:2)
  • The King of the Ages (1 Timothy 1:17, ESV)
  • The King of the Nations (Revelation 15:3)
  • The King of Heaven (Daniel 4:37), and
  • The King of glory (Psalm 24:7)
  • And He's the King of kings and He is the Lord of lords (Revelation 19:16)

In the Old Testament Jesus is called “The LORD of hosts”.  What is that referring to?  The hosts refers to the host or armies of angels.  We read that when Jesus Christ comes again in glory, He’ll bring “all the holy angels with him” (Matthew 25:31). He is the commander of the Angel armies.

I.          What did Jesus Himself claim?  The first two claims come from John 17. Look over there.

A.   He claims to share the glory that is due only to God.  John 17:1, 5, “These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee… 5 And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was”.

That is an amazing statement, especially in light of Isaiah 42:8, “I am the LORD: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images.”

Jesus told his disciples in John 14:1, "Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me."

We need to understand what Jesus is claiming.  He is claiming to be deity.  He is claiming to be God.  Look again at John 17:2.

B.   And He claimed to have power over all flesh, over all humanity, which means you and me-and everyone that will ever live and everyone that ever will live.  John 17:2, “As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him.”  Jesus said in John 5:22, “For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son”.

C.   You see also that Jesus claimed to be able to give eternal life to as many as the Father has given to Him.  This places Jesus before the foundation of the world. 

D.  Jesus Christ claimed to be the “Lord of the Sabbath Day” (Matthew 12:8).  In Israel, there was only one Lord of the Sabbath Day, and that was the Creator of the universe who rested on the seventh day after he created all things!   Jesus was saying, I am the "Lord of the Sabbath Day"-you are looking at your Creator, the One who rested after creating the world.

E.   Since He claimed to be God it is not surprising that He gladly received the Worship of God from others.

1.      The disciples worshipped Jesus.  After Jesus calmed the waves and the wind in a life threatening storm, the Bible says in Matthew 14:33, "Then they that were in the ship came and worshipped him, saying, Of a truth thou art the Son of God."

2.      When Jesus cast the demons out of people, the demons were afraid of Christ.  It says in Mark 3:11, "And unclean spirits, when they saw him, fell down before him, and cried, saying, Thou art the Son of God."

3.      After Thomas had seen Christ raised from the dead, he fell down at His feet and answered Jesus, "My Lord and my God" (John 20:28).

4.      When John saw the risen Christ in a vision on the isle of Patmos, Revelation 1:17, John says, "I fell at His feet as dead" to worship Him!

F.   Jesus claimed to be God in John 8:58, “Before Abraham was, I am”.   He said in John 10:30, “I and my Father are one,” and they took up stones to put him to death because he “made himself equal with God”.  In John 14:10 He said, “I am in the Father, and the Father in me”.   He says in John 17:5, “And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.”  By His own testimony, Jesus Christ is God robed in a human body. 

G.  Most shockingly of all, especially in our present culture, Jesus of Nazareth claimed to be the only way to heaven.  John 14:6 Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me."

Now if Jesus Christ were just a man, then He certainly would be committing blasphemy as a mere man claiming to be God.  A man would have to be a megalomaniac to say that he is God.  That would be like someone saying they were a feather duster! But if He was indeed God in human flesh, then what He was saying was true. He claimed to be God, and He made these claims on several occasions.

II.       What does God the Father claim about His Son?

A.   He claims that all the angels should worship him. Hebrews 1:6-8, “And again, when he bringeth in the firstbegotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him”.

B.   He claims that He is GodHebrews 1:7-8, “And of the angels he saith, Who maketh his angels spirits, and his ministers a flame of fire. 8  But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom”.

C.   John tells us this is so: John 1:1-3, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2  The same was in the beginning with God. 3  All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.”

III.     What do the prophets claim about Jesus?

A.   The Old Testament predicted that God would be born physically.

Isaiah said a child would be born of a virgin who would be called “the Mighty God” (the mighty Elohim) (Isaiah 9:6).  He is called “Emmanuel”, or “God with us” (Isaiah 7:14).

Micah prophesied there would be a ruler born in Bethlehem “whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting” (Micah 5:2). 

Isaiah tells us that God will come into the world in Isaiah 40:3, and that John the Baptist will make a highway for him, “The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God”.

Isaiah tells of the good news, the Gospel that God would enter into the world in Isaiah 40:9, “O Zion, that bringest good tidings, get thee up into the high mountain; O Jerusalem, that bringest good tidings, lift up thy voice with strength; lift it up, be not afraid; say unto the cities of Judah, Behold your God!”

IV.     What do the Apostles claim about Jesus?  On five occasions Jesus received the worship of his disciples.  Jesus shares the HONOR and WORSHIP due only to God. 

1.      PAUL: Paul tells us plainly in 1 Timothy 3:16 that “God was manifest in the flesh”.  Paul said that we should be “Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:13). 

2.      JOHN: John 1:1-3, 14 says, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2  The same was in the beginning with God. 3  All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made”… and verse 14, “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth”.

3.      THOMAS: After Christ’s resurrection, Thomas bowed before Jesus Christ and said, “My Lord and my God” (John 20:28).

4.      ALL THE APOSTLES record Christ’s miracles and claims.  He walked on water; He raised the dead; He turned water into wine; He made blind people to see.  Imagine someone walking up to a famous blind person, and some one blind from birth is now able to see. 

***Now remember that all of these claims were being made during the lifetime of the followers of Jesus.  The accounts were written very close-less than 20 to 30 years after the events happened, so these people could be interviewed. The events that took place could be verified.

V.        The New Testament claims that Jesus shares all the incommunicable Attributes of God.  These attributes are qualities that only God alone has. 

A.   No one is eternal, that is from eternity past, with no beginning, except God.  Yet Christ claimed to be eternal, with no beginning and no end.  Look at Revelation 1:8, Christ says, “I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty”. 

B.   No one is omniscient (knows all) except God. 

·         Yet Christ’s disciples confessed on several occasions that Christ knew all things (John 16:30; 21:17). 

·         On five occasions, the Bible says that Jesus knew what people were thinking (Matthew 9:4; 12:25; Luke 5:22; 6:8; 11:17; cf. John 2:25).  He had the ability at any time and know the heart of any man. 

C.    As God, Jesus Christ claimed to be omnipresent.  He says in Matthew 18:20, “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them”; and in Matthew 28:20, He promised, "Lo, I am with you alway, even to the end of the world."  He promises to be everywhere at once with each of His children when he says, “I will never leave thee nor forsake thee” (Hebrews 13:5). 

D.  As God, Christ claimed to be omnipotent.  He says “All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth” (Matthew 28:18).  He claimed to be able to do things only God can do, like forgive sins and grant eternal life.  He had the authority to tell the elements what to do, and when Jesus spoke, the creation obeyed His voice, and the disciples asked, “What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?” (Mark 4:41).

E.   As God, Jesus Christ is immutable—He never changes!  Hebrews 13:8 is a familiar declaration of the immutability of Christ: "Jesus Christ the same yesterday and today, and forever."

These five attributes are qualities that only God can have.  Christ says that He is God.  The Old Testament prophets say that Christ is God come in human flesh.  The Apostles say the same thing.  The New Testament says that when Jesus came to earth, he had all the attributes that only God has.  Christ is eternal, immutable, omnipotent, omnipresent, and omniscient!

Illustration: C. S. Lewis, the famous British author said, “A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic - on a level with the man who says he is a poached egg - or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God; or else a madman or something worse. You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.”[1]

Christ is either a liar, a madman, or else He is the Lord of glory. 

I’m here to tell you that Christ is the Lord of glory.  That’s who Christ is. Now let me tell you what He did.

VI.     What did Jesus do?

A.   Jesus Christ substituted Himself for you so that you could forever be God’s heir.  If you are a believer in Christ, you are going to inherit all things.  Romans 8:32, “He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?”

B.   Jesus Christ died for you to bring you to a right standing with God.  1 Peter 3:18, “For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God”.

C.   Jesus Christ came to take your curse and your sin. 2 Corinthians 5:21, “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.”

Conclusion: Let’s close by looking at Revelation 20.  Turn there if you would.  Here we have the entrance for all people into eternity, the Judgment Seat.  What you think of Christ determines your eternity. 

Revelation 20:11-21:8, “And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. 12  And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. 13  And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. 14  And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. 15  And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.


Revelation 21:1, “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. 2  And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3  And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. 4  And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. 5  And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful. 6  And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely. 7  He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son. 8  But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.

Who is Christ?  Who do you say that He is?  You will face Him very soon.  He will either be your Saviour or your Judge!  Receive Him not only as a good teacher, but as Who He said He is.  He is a good teacher because He is God Almighty in the flesh.  He is King and Lord of all.  Is He your King and your Lord?!  Fall before Him; give your life to Him. If you are a believer here tonight, be ready to give an answer for Him to every one that asks of the hope that is in you. 


[1] C.S. Lewis A Complete Guide to His Life and Works, Walter Hooper, ed. (New York: Harper Collins, 1996), 308.

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